Peggy Mativo Ochola is a Kenyan woman who was part of Zawadi Africa’s program. Peggy, who interned with Coca-Cola for its 5by20 initiative, graduated from Harvard University where she earned degrees in Chemistry and East Asian Studies. She is the founder of PACE (Promoting Access to Community Education) in Kenya and the PanAfrican Scholars Program (across Africa), both which engage passionate youthful volunteers in expanding educational access to African students.
It was while volunteering at a rural school in Tanzania that Peggy began to truly understand the extent of overcrowding and understaffing that characterizes the educational system in many African countries. In Kenya alone, the teacher shortage is estimated close to 100,000 with the average public school teacher charged with teaching 53 students in a single class.
To address this issue, Peggy launched PACE which recruits and trains recent high school graduates to volunteer as teaching assistants at Kenyan schools. PACE offers a win-win solution for the volunteers, who receive valuable training and experience, and schools, which benefit from much-needed support in areas such as grading, tutoring, mentoring, and language instruction.
Currently, PACE works with 25 elementary and secondary schools in three regions of the country. Since 2013, PACE recruited 466 volunteers who received training in job readiness, entrepreneurship, and leadership skills. PACE’s work has resulted in increased academic performance in the schools it serves and formation of new extracurricular activities, such as language and sports clubs, led by its volunteers. Peggy mentors recent high school graduates to help them access university scholarships in the US, Ghana and South Africa.
In 2015, Peggy was listed in the Business Daily as one of Kenya’s Top 40 under 40 and won the Spark Changemaker of the Year Award. She mentors recent high school graduates, helping them access university scholarships in the U.S., Ghana and South Africa. Peggy is a board member of the International Youth Foundation.